Tag Archives: Alhaji Lai Mohammed

NBC urged to revamp broadcasting

The National Broadcasting Commission has been instructed by Nigeria’s minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to roll out measures to reposition the broadcasting industry.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed

The minister issued a directive in Abuja last week calling on broadcasters to use Nigerian independent producers to fulfil the regulatory requirement to offer 70% local content. The move is intended to promote local content, boost the advertising industry, create jobs and ensure the industry is up to speed with global best practices.

“This directive covers the provision for the regulation of the web and online TV/radio; regulation of international broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria; hate speech; human resource and staff welfare; funding for the reforms implementation; monitoring; independence of the regulator and ease of issuing licences, as well as competition and monopoly issues,” he said.

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Government targets MultiChoice monopoly

The Nigerian government has moved to end pay TV group MultiChoice’s monopoly on broadcasting sporting events in the country.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the country’s minister of information and culture, has issued a directive to end the group’s exclusive right to air high-profile sports events and also urged the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to re-position the broadcasting industry.

In line with a report approved by president Muhammadu Buhari, the minister has instructed broadcasters and exclusive licensees to share previously exclusive rights with other broadcasters.

“This regulation prevents the misuse of monopoly, market power or anti-competitive and unfair practices by a foreign or local broadcaster to suppress other local broadcaster in the television and radio markets,” he said.

The move has “removed exclusivity from all content in Nigeria and mandated the sharing of all content upon the payment of commercially viable fees,” Mohammed added.

The breaking up of the monopoly will boost reach, maximise the utilisation by all broadcasters of premium content and grow their platforms and investment in other content, he said.

“Monopolies stunt growth, kill talents and discourage creativity. In the case of Nigeria, it’s the monopoly of content that breeds anti-competition practices. You cannot use your financial or whatever power to corner and hold on tight to a chunk of the market, preventing others from having access. Such monopolies are crumbling everywhere in the world and Nigeria cannot be left out,” said Mohammed.

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Culture minister kicks off Summit

Nigeria’s minister of information and culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed kicked off the second edition of the Creative Nigeria Summit (CNS) this week, calling on the creative industry to focus on what consumers want.

The CNS is a two-day conference held annually to bring together international and indigenous experts, thought leaders, industry players and renowned professionals within the Nigerian film and television industries to discuss issues affecting the business.

His speech in full:

Good morning gentlemen, and welcome to the 2018 Creative Industry Summit, with the theme Content – The Future of Nigerian Film and Television in a Digital Era.

This is the second edition of the summit, which started last year. The summit has thus become an annual event designed to bring together international and indigenous experts, thought leaders, key players and renowned professionals from the entertainment and media industry, to examine and exchange ideas and innovations, to create sustainable solutions to challenges and harness the full potential of the Nigerian film and television industry.

The two-day summit, put together by Think Tank Media and Advertising Ltd, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, was born and executed out of a desire to urgently transform the film, television and music sectors into a well-structured industry.

The first edition last year achieved several milestones:

Alhaji Lai Mohammed gives his keynote at CNS 2018

i) Following the summit, a delegation of the Nigerian Film and Music Industry, led by my humble self, held a piracy stakeholders’ meeting with the inspector-general of police, resulting in the establishment of police anti-piracy units in all the 36 states. The subsequent extensive piracy raids have led to the confiscation of pirated products worth hundreds of millions of naira.

ii) Granting of pioneer status for the creative industry by the federal government to reduce financial burdens on new investments and encourage both foreign and local investments within the industry.

iii) A meeting with the governor of the Central bank of Nigeria requesting the provision of stimulus capital for the creative industry to be invested through long-tenured single-digit debt to private investors to build 100 community cinemas, six music arenas across the geopolitical zones and state-of-the-art pre- and post-production facilities across the country.

iv)  Granting of special priority status to international and national investors to access foreign exchange.

v)  A sovereign guarantee to back up international loans to achieve any of the stated infrastructure projects.

vi) Co-ordination of an arrangement to establish a world-class media services production company that will produce Premier League [football], music videos for artists, films for Nollywood and TV shows and soaps for television.

vii) Setting up of an audience rating and measurement body for TV and radio, on the back of the ongoing rollout of the digital switch-over (DSO).

During the intervening period between the inaugural edition and the year’s summit, our personal research has been focused on an understanding of what, in particular, the customers in the 24 million TV households in Nigeria really want. We have arrived at the findings that the digitisation of television required a much deeper understanding of customers, content and the quality of delivery of ‘video.’ Yes, I did not use [the word] television and that is because that is not what people all want to watch. They want to watch videos, however they are delivered, including – but definitely not limited to – television.

The landscape has changed. The accelerating shift towards mobile delivery continues unabated and a content rekindling has left consumers feeling lost in a sea of available programming. I believe the time to act is now. Media and entertainment companies that want to stay in the game may need to embark upon a holistic, coordinated and integrated programme of digital innovation to focus their resources, investments and capabilities on the things that truly matter.

With respect to content consumers in Nigeria, a well-researched survey of what the customers want, where they are, what they watch, want to watch, when and how they want it delivered, does not exist. The stakeholders within the ecosystem of the DSO project are unfortunately focused on their immediate economic returns and convenient modules of implementation. But technological growth does not flow along those lines and, in the near future, smart media entities will outstrip all plans, institutions and government power and reach the customer, leaving non-informed players with empty castles.

On the issue of content, Nigeria is the clear leader in raw content in Africa. Nollywood, hip-hop, Afrobeat and our comedians testify to this. But we are hardly monetising them either through production, distribution or royalty collection. In fact, with about 20 billion naira currently expended on the DSO, less than N500m has gone into content. It is apparent Nigeria has forgotten that video, not television, is about content.

And everywhere in the world, Video has exploded via on-demand and live streaming. Online TV or subscription services are now the norm – YouTube, Netflix, Iroko etc. Video is now delivered via social feeds like Facebook, WeChat, LINE etc. Indeed, video is the future of media on the web and is competing with scheduled linear TV content for consumer attention. I implore the key players in the DSO project to focus on any of the above.

A recent survey done in over 42 countries revealed that expected video consumption on devices over the next three years will grow 45% on mobile, 45% on internet-enabled TVs, 40% on tablets and 36% on laptop computers. Traditional TV grew by 0%. This led the researchers to come to the conclusion that video is not only increasingly consumed from the internet, it is clearly going mobile.

TV companies have used their advantage of being first in the homes to introduce data to the homes, thereby not only improving their revenues significantly but securing their roles in the future of video watching. Some 70% of homes in the UK get their data from Sky, Virgin or YouView. In fact, BT, the main telecom operator, rushed to set up their own TV entity, acquiring Champions League football rights and offering it for free, if you buy data from them. Who is doing this in Nigeria? This is where we have to play.

Very soon the race for content will begin. With a significant increase in the number of distribution channels and a variety of content to choose from, the clear winner will be the media company that invests in high-quality original content that has taken into consideration the preferences of the customer. Ultimately, the goal will be to match content with audience expectation and enjoy maximum compensation.

Ladies and gentlemen, permit me to use this opportunity to salute all the players in our creative industry. They have all made Nigeria proud. Between the 2017 summit and this year’s edition, we have seen a harvest of global recognitions for our industry players. Mo Abudu and Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde were named among the top 50 women doing extraordinary things on the worldwide stage by Variety magazine, and prolific author Chimamanda Adichie’s novel Americanah was listed in the New York Times’ list of 15 remarkable books by women that are ”shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.”

Also, Wizkid has made history by becoming the first African artiste to sell out the Royal Albert Hall in London, while Davido emerged winner of the 2018 BET Award International Act. Congratulations to all these stars who are making our country proud, and indeed to all of you in the rapidly flourishing creative industry

Finally, let me assure you that this administration remains dogged in its determination to grow the creative industry and turn it into a creative economy. I wish you all fruitful deliberations and I thank you for your kind attention.

For more information about the conference, click here. The Twitter hashtag for the event is #CNS2018 and the Instagram account can be found here.

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Goodluck Jonathan backed DSO contracts

It has been revealed that the contracts given to move Nigeria from analogue to digital broadcasting were approved by former president Goodluck Jonathan and not by information and culture minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Modibbo Kawu.

Goodluck Jonathan

Claims had been made in the past that the two were involved with the approval but a source has suggested they only implemented the white paper approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) under President Jonathan.

In 2014, a deadline was set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for Nigeria to move to digital broadcasting, which would make Nigeria the biggest digital television market in Africa, positively impact the Nigerian film industry and contribute to the growth of the economy.

The digital switchover budget was later approved by the FEC and contracts approved by the Jonathan administration.

“The allegation that the NBC DG also awarded contract to Pinnacle Communications is also false as the contract was awarded before the Muhammadu Buhari administration. It is also not true that the minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, claimed he was misled by the NBC DG into approving payment,” said the source.

“The mischief makers have cleverly hidden the fact that the minister also authored payment – based on the approval by the Jonathan administration – to other players in the Echo System, such as Inview, CCNL, ITS and set-top box manufacturers.”

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Creative Nigeria Summit date set

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister of information and culture

The second edition of the Creative Nigeria Summit is scheduled to take place in July.

More than 2,000 media professionals are expected to attend the two-day summit, organised by Lagos-based Think Tank Media & Advertising in partnership with the Ministry of Information & Culture.

The event will take place from July 17 to 18 and the hashtag for the event is #CreativeNigeriaSummit.

Titled CONTENT: The Future of Nigerian Television in a Digital Era, the conference aims to bring key stakeholders in the Nigerian TV industry together to discuss ways the media industry in Nigeria can be properly structured and how to put the necessary TV infrastructure in place to enhance content, production and creativity.

The summit will comprise sessions including workshops, masterclasses and panel discussions. A welcome address will be made by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister of information and culture The event will be broadcast by Play TV on channels 100 and 400.

Think Tank is an independent media planning, media buying and creative agency focused on developing and providing services to both local and international clients.

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Minister hails NTA’s Labour Room

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister of information and culture

Nigeria’s minister of information and culture has called on the country’s corporate sector to support reality show The Labour Room during a visit to see its contestants.

At the mansion where the participant stay, Alhaji Lai Mohammed appealed to companies and brands in Nigeria to back the show.

“We need this initiative a lot. It is not just to entertain but to build values and morals. This is what we need mostly now in Nigeria,” he said.

“It’s a mind-blowing experience for me to realise that 37 young Nigerians have been in this labour room for the past 60 days and all they have been doing is bonding, preaching unity and dreaming of a new Nigeria.”

The Labour Room airs on public broadcaster NTA and other local and international TV channels, with more than 200 million viewers around the world.

The series, described as a ‘national development reality TV show, is the first of its kind, according to its producers. As the name suggests, it is about birthing and activating innovative ideas and realising potential in Nigeria.

With 37 contestants from various ethnic and religious background across the country, the show is claimed to be thought-provoking as well as entertaining. Each contestant will spend 60 days analysing and discussing the numerous issues that Nigeria faces and thinking up solutions.

Heads of states, thought leaders and industry experts across the board will visit the mansion where the contestants live to discuss the path ahead for Nigeria.

Each contestant will be retained or dismissed based on the solutions they come up with to daily challenges and the votes they accrue from the audience. At the end of the competition, four finalists will be selected to share the prize money – N200m (US$550,000) – which they will use to begin and expand companies to help develop the country.

The reality show is an initiative from The Nigerian Rebirth Foundation, which has as patrons Her Excellency Aisha Buhari, wife of the President of Nigeria; Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie, Nigeria’s former and longest-serving inspector general of police, also chairman of its governing board; and the Ooni of Ife as its Royal Father.

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NBC fines nets for code breaches

Nigeria’s National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has issued fines to two TV stations, ITV in Jalingo and IBC (Orient TV) in Owerri, for breaching the country’s broadcasting code.

Maimuna Jimada

The channels were fined N100,000 and N50,000, respectively.

NBC’s head of public affairs Maimuna Jimada said the stations were being penalised for their breach of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and for airing programmes that feature vulgar lyrics, hate speech and unverifiable claims.

According to Jimada, all of these breaches were committed in the third quarter of 2017. Poor training of staff and editors was partly to blame for these breaches of ethics and the broadcast code, the NBC exec added.

Many staff at the stations are either untrained or undertrained and don’t know which words, videos and claims are off-limits for broadcast, leading to uncensored music videos, talkshows and movies that breach the broadcasting code.

Part of NBC’s duty is to organise regular training and refresher courses for staff at TV stations.

Speaking at a press conference, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said: “The nation looks up to the NBC to restore sanity to the broadcasting industry. The Commission cannot afford to do any less at this critical time. It cannot afford to fail the nation.”

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